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Community Coalition on Race Presents 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Observance & Fair

January 15, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race presents its 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance & Fair on Monday, January 15, 2018, which is free and open to the public. Additional MLK Day activities are listed below in the following schedule:  

2:00 PMMLK Observance at Columbia High School auditorium,  17 Parker Ave, Maplewood. Hundreds of SOMa residents and friends from neighboring communities gather to honor Dr. King through music, a sharing of interfaith readings, and an affirmation of Dr. King’s call to action and service. The keynote speaker is long-time civil rights activist Larry Hamm, the founding chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress in Newark, one of the few organizations that can claim a victory against state intransigence around police brutality. Hamm has been a relentless advocate for African American people and the cause of human rights for more than 30 years. 

3:30 PM: Annual Volunteer Fair and Reception in the Columbia High School cafeteria.  The Volunteer Fair will showcase local service organizations that offer opportunities for residents to give back to the community by volunteering on the spot or in the future.  Organizations interested in participating in the Fair should contact the Coalition office at 973-761-6116, X4 or by emailing  Donations of food pantry items, knitting yarn, old eyeglasses, children’s books (K-5th grade) and travel-sized toiletry donations are requested. 

4:45 PM: Gather at either Duck Pond in South Orange with Village President Sheena Collum or in front of Town Hall in Maplewood with Victor DeLuca for the lighting of the Luminaries (decorated white bags with votive candles inside). They will be illuminated at 5 pm in both locations as a sign of hope, sanctuary, peace, and solidarity with Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community. For up-to-minute information on this activity, follow @Community.Coalition on Facebook.  

5:00 PMBells will toll from places of worship in SOMa to remind families to light up the outside of their homes with Luminaries, white bags with votive candles inside that can be decorated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision. The goal is for 1,000 homes in SOMa to be lit up. Please share images of your Luminaries using hashtags #SOMALuminaries and #LetThereBeLight.  

The Luminaries come four in a pack for a suggested donation of $10 and it is a fundraiser for the Coalition. Purchase Luminaries at Words Bookstore in Maplewood, Sparkhouse toy store in South Orange or at the Coalition’s office.  

For more information, please see the Community Coalition’s website or call 973-761-6116. 


January 15, 2018
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Columbia High School Auditorium
17 Parker Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040 United States
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(973) 762-5600